A recent study found that more Americans are open to God and want spiritual growth after the COVID-19 pandemic. A report released last month by the Barna Group, a faith-based research organization, found that 44 percent of U.S. adults are “more open to God” due to the pandemic.

Out of the 2,000 adults in the survey, 77 percent said they believed in a higher power, while 74 percent expressed their desire to grow spiritually. Pollsters also found that all generations, including young Americans, desire to grow spiritually. Seventy-seven percent of millennials and Gen X expressed a “spiritual hunger,” according to Barna CEO David Kinnaman.

Among Gen Z, 73 percent showed the same desire, and so did 72 percent of baby boomers. At 80 percent, a substantial majority believed “there is a spiritual or supernatural dimension to the world,” with 50 percent feeling confident of the existence of the supernatural. Thirty percent thought it existed, but they weren’t sure.

Only 11 percent of respondents felt doubts or uncertain about the spiritual realm, with nine percent denying its existence. Eighty-three percent of Gen Z and millennials said they believe in a “supernatural/spiritual dimension,” followed by 82 percent of Gen X and 79 percent of baby boomers. Baby boomers expressed the highest rate of belief in a higher power at 79 percent, while millennials were least likely to ascribe to one at 76 percent.

“Though the trajectory of Christian commitment in the U.S. has been on a downward scale and is in need of urgent interventions, our new data gave Christian leaders cause for hope,” Kinnaman said of the report’s findings.

Pew Research Center report published last fall found a surge of adults leaving Christianity to become atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” It predicted that if the number of Christians under 30 abandoning their faith accelerates beyond the current pace, adherents of the historically dominant religion of the U.S. could become a minority by 2045.

Noting how approximately 90 percent of Americans identified as Christians in the early 1990s, the study observed that the number, which includes children, had fallen to only 64 percent by 2020. The research showed that the number of people in the U.S. who identify as religiously unaffiliated skyrocketed from 16 percent in 2007 to 29 percent in 2020. Other religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, accounted for approximately 6 percent in 2020.

However, in a culture that has generally downgraded the reputation of Christians and relegated Sunday worship and other church-related activities to the sidelines of society, teens remain refreshingly open to Jesus as an influence in their lives. People are weary of the constant tension and division we see on the public stage and in our social media feeds of hurtful rhetoric and love with limits. But it seems that this coming generation still believes that there is a person who reminds us that there is a good and proper way to live.

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